Paypal Email Scam Alert

Online shopping is going to be bigger than ever this year as the high street remains locked down. Recent ActionFraud data has shown that over a third of all reports of online shopping fraud are due to fake PayPal emails. These emails are sent to sellers on online sites such as eBay and the sellers believe that they have received the funds and post the goods to the fraudster. Another variant of this scam is when the buyer contacts the seller to tell them that they have accidently paid too much and ask them to buy a gift card to refund the difference. The fake email seems to confirm the error and the victim duly purchases and sends the gift card in good faith. Now the victim has lost the goods, received no cash, and paid cash out. In the first 9 months of this year there were 21,000 crime reports made to ActionFraud for this scam.


Tips and Advice

  • Check if PayPal have really sent a message – Log into your account, the normal way, NEVER through a link, and look in the Secure Message Centre within your account, all PayPal messages are sent here
  • Sender is? – Always click on the sender address to see the full email address to see if it looks authentic or suspicious
  • Too good to be true? – Yes, it’s a scam, if the buyer is overpaying it’s a big red flag
  • Dear who? – A real PayPal email will always have your full name or company name at the beginning, any non-personalised greeting should be ignored
  • Secure your account – Turn on 2 factor authentication on your account, this means you will be sent a text message or an email with a code to use whenever you login to your account. To do this Login to PayPal > Click on Settings Logo (top right)  > click SECURITY > click 2 -step verification
  • Personal means private! – Do not divulge personal details unless you are certain who you are communicating with
  • Report it – to PayPal by emailing
  • Contact – your bank or credit card company if you have already given out financial details
  • Still Unsure? – Call Reassura 0800 888 6400 and one of our fraud advisor’s will help you to stay safe
  • To report a fraud – and receive a police crime reference number call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool


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